To The Winners!

The 2014 SugarHouse Casino Mummers Parade has concluded, launching a New Year in the fun, family, and freedom style of Philadelphia Mummery. I believe the parade makes everyone a winner. But here is the official list of finishers in the major categories.

String Bands: 1st prize goes to Quaker City. Hegeman finishes 2nd. South Philadelphia with its Pirate theme, 3rd. They are followed by Woodland 4th. Fralinger 5th. Ferko 6th. Avalon 7th. Polish American 8th. Aqua 9th. Uptown is 10th. Next are Pennsport, Duffy, Greater Kensington, Broomall, Greater Overbrook, Durning and Trilby.

Hegeman Captain John Baron finishes 1st among captains, followed by Ferko’s Anthony Celenza and Jimmy Good of Quaker. Denny Palandro is 4 and Nick Magenta 5.

Murray wins the comics again as does Captain Dennis Pellegrino. Murray’s Trama NYB wins 1st prize comic brigade.

The Fancy prize goes to Golden Sunrise, but the Fancy 1st prize Captain is Hog Island’s Kenny Medeiros with his Greatest Show on Earth theme. Jacky BAMBAM wins 1st again in Handsome Costume for Golden Sunrise.

1st prize Wench Brigades goes to Oregon. The Pirates are 2 and Bryson 3. Pirates Captain George Stewart wins 1st prize wench brigades captain.

Fancy Brigade 1st goes to Bill McIntyre’s Shooting Stars, with its Captain, Michael Adams, also taking 1st Prize. The Jokers and Downtowers finished 2nd and 3rd.

Keep on Mummin!

The members of the Fancy Brigade Association and the members of the Wench Brigade Association each held their respective annual banquets this weekend and a pleasant time was guaranteed for all.

Jackie Bam Bam, the Alice Cooper of Mummery, rocked the Waterfall Room in South Philadelphia.  Jackie McCann and Captain Kenny Medeiros accepted the award for 1st Prize Fancy Club for Hog Island.  Honors were awarded in all the major categories judged on New Year’s Day.

However, the show stopper of the night was 4-year-old Danny Fundora, who took 1st Prize in the Juvenile Category for his “Captain Jack.”

Danny could very well be a future Captain.  He’s got the moves, (he’s a natural line dancer) and the attitude. Quite the scene-stealer, young Mr. Daniel is.

Deb & MattCongratulations also go to Debbie Glovacz and Chuck Erbenich who are now inducted into the Fancy Association Hall of Fame.  Debbie, seen above with husband, Matt, is a great person and also one of the hardest working people in Golden Sunrise N.Y.A. and at the Mummers Museum.  Chuck, for 20 years, since he first appeared as King Arthur, to his many years of service in Golden Sunrise, and to his helping all of Mummery through his work on the Museum Board, is also a vital member of the Mummers community.  He wears a hat well, too.

The fast-growing Wench Brigade Association was also partying and honoring in South Philadelphia at Nicole Renee Occasions.  Chalie McKenna  and the gang are always welcoming and I don’t know what a year would be like without a smack from Gootch.  Congratulations to O’Malley N.Y.A. and all the winners, and all the inductees into the Hall of Fame: George Stewart (that’s him with the good looking family), Jack McQuilkin, Mike McNulty, Hank Brown, John Walsh and last but not least to Mr. Eddie Szymborski, of Oregon.  Ed now holds the distinct honor of induction into 2 Halls of Fame, the Wench Brigade and the Fancy. 

Here are some more scenes from the Wench Brigade and Fancy Association Banquets, starting with “Pop” Bryson and ending with Christine, the great daughter of Ed Szymborski.

Mum Time

Ten thousand Mummers are ready to hit Broad Street for the annual Philadelphia Mummers Parade!  The formal parade started in 1901.  01/01/11 is upon us.  It’s Mum Time.  Coverage on PHL17 begins at 9 a.m. The first Comics will hit City Hall sometime after 10 a.m. I will announce the major winners on the 10 pm. and 11 p.m. newscasts on PHL17 and NBC10.  Members of clubs across 5 Divisions are poised to strut. Murray Comic Club is leading off, followed by Goodtimers and Landi.  I see some great themes this year, some of them topical, of course.  You can bet the economy is one.  Thanks to Murray for all they do for the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. After the Comics comes the large Wench Brigade Division.  8 clubs take part, led by Oregon this year.

 The Fancy Division sees two legendary clubs, Hog Island and Golden Sunrise. 

Kenny Medeiros

2010 winning Captain Kenny Medeiros, of  Hog Island, is doing a 1950’s theme.  The Hogs are bringing it.  So, too, is Matt Glovacz, Captain of Golden Sunrise, who will serve us a “Hawaiian Luau.”  GS’s John Lucas took me on a tour of the suits this year and there are some great ones, many of which he built.

John Lucas

“Handsome costume. That is the toughest category there is on the street,” says John Lucas. I especially like the tribute to the late Jim Happold. Golden Sunrise is bringing back “Putting on the Ritz,” the suit Hap wore as GS started. The Fancies continue the tradition of beauty on Broad Street with explosions of color and majesty. These works of art are made by hand and are not the product of a big factory making blow up cartoon figures.  This is unique.

 The awesome string bands are particularly interesting this year because of the order of march and some rules changes in the judging which may or may not have effect. In essence, the judges will reward a little more the effect of the music and costumes. Previously, music playing had an edge over effect and some folks felt the richer bands who spent more on costuming might have had an unfair advantage. Fralinger is going up Broad Street in 2nd, behind Pennsport. I’ve seen their performance and if anyone can ake First Prize from 2nd position, the mighty Fralinger can do it. But, I’ve seen many other challengers who also look strong. 

Denny Palandro

South Philadelphia Captain Denny Palandro says,”We’re doing a showboat theme this year.  Our forte is props. We’re going to have the props to go with this theme. The costumes are beautiful. The music, we stepped it up a notch.”

Quaker City String Band has a truly entertaining theme and its musicians sound great.  All I’m going to say is keep an eye on Captain Charlie Roetz. 

Anthony Celenza

Ferko String Band is looking to move up a notch to number one from last year.  They think they’ve put the final pieces together in their gold rush/prospecting theme.  Says Captain Anthony Celenza,  “We’re stakin’ a claim for 2011 and we’re goin for the gold.”  I’ve seen Polish American looking to combine the crowd pleasing aspects of last year (They were the 1st Prize winners of the Viewer’s Choice Award.) with more power.  Go down the ilist and you’ll see outstanding performances, including Avalon, Woodland and more. 

“Pete D’Amato, Captain of 2010 1st Prize winner South Philly Vikings says, “We’re looking forward to getting out there. to getting with the people, letting everybody see what we do, the whole fancy brigade and having a good time.”  9 other Fancy Brigades also look to do the same and challenge Pete and his brigade at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

As I mentioned, the annual parade formally began in 1901, but the tradition dates back to the 17th century.  At its heart, Mummery is a “crazy hobby,” a way to celebrate the New Year. But, it’s become much more than that. It is a family glue, a bond in neighborhoods, a city’s goodwill ambassadorship, an economic contributor and a tourist attraction.  Some Mummers clubs spend well over 100,000 dollars to entertain on New Year’s Day.  For the third year in a row, they do so without getting any prize money from the city.  I mention this because there have been inaccurate reports to the contrary.  By the way, the prize money originated more than 100 years ago as a way of enticing the Mummers, who had been parading on their own, to agree to be run or organized on New Year’s Day by the city. All that leaves a Mummers mind in the hours ahead.  New Year’s is upon us. Enjoy the spectacle! Enjoy the feast!  It’s Mum time.

Round ‘Em Up

Just about 3 weeks to the fabulous 2011 Mummers Parade and another sign that the event is rushing upon us is the “Mummers Roundup.” The annual “Roundup” at the Mummers Museum sheds more light on the upcoming big parade. It’s the meeting of heads of all the clubs participating in the parade. It is conducted by the City of Philadelphia Recreation Department. City officials lay out the staging areas, the times, the rules of the road for the strut up Broad Street and other logistics. Parade Director and Deputy Recreation Commissioner Leo Dignam led the instructions from his veteran team. Here’s some of what was made official Wednesday night. Murray will start the parade, leading the Comics up Broad Street. They’ll start at Broad and Washington at 10 a.m. and move north to City Hall. Goodtimers will follow, then Landi. Then come the Wenches. Here’s the Order of March for the Wench Division this year: Oregon(formerly a Fancy Club), Saints, Bryson, Riverfront, O’Malley, Pirates, Cara Liom and Froggy Carr. The Fancies will line up on Broad between Morris and Mifflin. Golden Sunrise and Hog Island will represent the Fancy Division this year. Next are the String Bands. Pennsport starts the String Bands at Broad and Shunk, while the rest of the bands line up at Broad and Oregon. There will be several viewing areas along the parade route and the city says some improved amenities, such as more portable toilets and warming stations. I’ll have more on that and the music and drill areas in the near future. Of course, I’m biased but unless you are sitting where I get to sit on parade day, often the best seat is in your warm family or living room watching PHL17. Our coverage begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 10 p.m. with the Fancy Brigades Finale (8pm to 10pm on PHL17).  I also will have the major parade prize results in the news at 10 p.m.